Some credit cards offer a cash advance option. But how good a deal is this?
Not very. In fact, it can be downright expensive.
Because every time you use your credit card to withdraw case, more fees kick in:
Cash advances can carry an upfront fee of 2 percent to 4 percent of the amount advanced.
The advances have a higher interest rate than regular card charges.
Interest charges begin to mount as soon as the money comes out of the ATM.
Many issuers also require you to pay down the balances for purchases before you pay down the higher-interest cash advance balance.
Here's an example of how these fees kick in:
Assume you bought a television for $500 on your card and then took out $50 in cash. Even though you pay the $50 back the next day, you still lose your interest-free period because the credit provider deems you pay the cash back last.
As a result you will still owe the $50, but you will now only owe $450 on the $500 worth of purchases.
You'll continue to forfeit your interest-free period up until you have completely paid back the full $550. Any future purchases will still be ahead of the $50 in the payback line.
The lesson is simple: Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash wherever possible. You'll save money as a result!
Paul Davis is financial writer and contributor to http://debt-elimination-4u.com. Stop by and pick up your FREE guide on how to get out of debt now at: http://debt-elimination-4u.com/get-out-of-debt.htm